Over 32 premises were searched across four days

Searches have been carried out in 12 counties as part of an operation to target people who possess, import and distribute child abuse material on the internet.

Gardaí say 32 premises were searched nationwide by personnel attached to the Online Child Exploitation Unit between September 27th and October 1st.

Digital material, computers and mobile telephones have been seized - and will be subject to forensic examination.

One of the searches targeted an individual who is suspect for selling and facilitating the online distribution of child sex dolls.

This person was arrested and subsequently detained before being released, pending an investigation file being prepared for forwarding to the the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Gardaí are also liaising with Tusla, the Child & Family Agency regarding any child protection concerns that arise.

Officers say a number of additional follow up searches are anticipated "in the near future."

It's part of Operation Ketch III, whose objectives are to identify child protection concerns at each premises searched and engage appropriately with Tusla, the Child & Family Agency; and target persons suspected of possessing, importing and distributing online child abuse material (child related pornography).

In the course of the three phases of Operation Ketch undertaken to date, over 100 suspects have been targeted.